Chris Froome’s off-season schedule usually includes a trip to the Saitama Criterium in Japan. However, with teammate Geraint Thomas taking the place as the current Tour de France champion, the Team Sky rider has decided to head west for Colombia.
Froome arrived in Medellín this week to join up with former teammate Rigoberto Uran and to ride the inaugural Giro de Rigo. The 2018 Giro d’Italia winner posted a picture of himself in the Colombian mountains on Twitter on Friday.
The Giro de Rigo is a race run by Uran around the Antioquia region of Colombia, where Uran is from, with people taking part in teams or on their own. The team classification is not open to elite riders, so Froome and Uran will be duking it out solo.
There are two routes for the riders, one of 60 kilometres and the other is 140 kilometres, which takes in the areas of Guatapé, San Rafael and San Carlos. The event is effectively a time trial, with awards being handed out in a number of categories.
The Giro de Rigo is garnering plenty of attention in Colombia, and the Froome's presence will certainly help. A launch party was held on Friday evening with the event itself set to take place on Sunday.
Froome has been travelling a lot of late as he paid a visit to the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia route presentations in recent weeks. Following the unveiling of next year’s Giro parcours on Wednesday, Froome did not rule out riding both the Italian Grand Tour and the Tour de France in 2019.
Froome attempted the Giro-Tour double this year, having won the Tour and the Vuelta a Espana back-to-back in 2017. He won the Giro d’Italia in dramatic fashion after a disappointing start but could only manage third at the Tour as his teammate Geraint Thomas went on to win the race. He then chose to skip the Vuelta, having hinted that he could ride it and ended his season at the Tour of Britain.
As well as a potential double, Froome is also eying up a record-equalling fifth Tour de France title. Froome said that a final decision would not be made until December.